A three hour boat ride from Puno is a small island called Amantani, located with Lake Titikaka. The people who inhabit this island are referred to as Amantanians. They are considered Incans since they still speak the native Incan language of Quechua.
We stayed at a house with a lady named Matilda, and her family. Talking with the husband, we find out that he has never left the island and has knowledge of the last 5 generations of his family living here. The are a simple people and live off of mainly soup, and vegetables. Everyone chews coca leaves, and coca tea as well as muña tea are also a staple here. Muña tea is very good also, and taste a little like mint.
There are two mountains on the island, Pachamama and Pachatata. Pachamam is the name of the female deity, and Pachatata is the name of the male deity. Hiking to the top of Pachatata is a fantastic view. It was overcast and drizzling all day, but the view was still amazing. Both mountains have temples on the top of them. Pachatata, 150 meters above Lake Titikaka, you’ll find a square temple. Pachamama, 200 meters above Lake Titikaka, you’ll find a round temple. The temple is only open one day a year in January.
Still drizzling outside, we joined the Amantanians for some local dance and music. A Incan hoe-down if you will. There was about for guys playing drums, guitar, a pan pipe, and the 10 string guitar. The women in their vibrant dresses, and the men in their ponchos danced with any of the guest on the island. One of the things they like to do, is “crack the whip”. Everyone holds hands and creates a giant circles. Then you all start running in the same direction as the circle becomes distorted and “whip” the people on the end. If was definitely a night to remember.